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Indonesia

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On 5 April 2019, the European Commission reported that the seventh round of negotiations with Indonesia, that took place in Brussels from 11 to 15 March, brought about good progress across the board, particularly on the chapters on sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, rules of origin and investment. The chapters on trade remedies and customs are now close to completion at technical level. The next round will be held before the summer in Indonesia. 

The Federal Council announced that on 16 December 2018, Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, the economics minister of Liechtenstein and representatives of Iceland and Norway signed a free trade agreement with Indonesia’s minister for trade, Enggartiasto Lukita. Under the agreement, 98 percent of Swiss exports to Indonesia, the fourth most populous country in the world, will be exempt from customs duties over the coming years. Technical barriers to trade will be removed, market access for Swiss service providers made easier and bilateral economic relations in general improved. The EFTA states will collectively become Indonesia’s primary trading partner in Europe.

On September 1, 2018, the Canada Gazette published a notice from Global Affairs Canada stating that the Government of Canada is committed to fostering and strengthening Canada’s economic ties with its Asia-Pacific partners, including the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) [Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam] and is seeking the views of interested Canadian stakeholders on the scope of potential negotiations toward a possible free trade agreement (FTA) with ASEAN. Expanding and diversifying Canada’s trade with large, emerging markets such as ASEAN is a priority for the Government of Canada and contributes to Canada’s trade diversification strategy. The Government of Canada’s approach is one that puts the interests of Canadians and opportunities for the middle class, women, youth and Indigenous people front and centre.

On August 2, 2018, the United States delegation to the WTO notified the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) that The United States considers that Indonesia has failed to comply with the recommendations and rulings of the DSB in the dispute Indonesia — Importation of Horticultural Products, Animals, and Animal Products (DS478). Pursuant to Article 22.2 of the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (DSU), the United States requested authorization from the DSB to suspend concessions or other obligations with respect to Indonesia at an annual level based on a formula commensurate with the trade effects caused to the interests of the United States by the failure of Indonesia to comply with the recommendations of the DSB. Based on a preliminary analysis of available data for certain products, this level is provisionally estimated at up to approximately $350 million for 2017. The United States said it would update this figure annually, as Indonesia’s economy continues to expand.

As the trade conflict between the United States and China continues, three free trade agreements are pressing ahead, including– the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), soon to enter into force, the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (JEEPA), recently signed and which represents 30% of global economic output, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), an agreement that includes both India and China and comprises the largest trading block in the region.

On 18 July 2018, the Official Journal published Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1013 of 17 July 2018 imposing provisional safeguard measures with regard to imports of certain steel products. On 26 March 2018, the Commission published a Notice of Initiation of a safeguard investigation concerning imports of 26 steel product categories (2018/C 111/10) in the Official Journal. The Commission decided to initiate the investigation in the light of sufficient evidence that imports of those products might cause or threaten to cause serious injury to the Union producers concerned. On 28 June, the investigation was extended to two additional product categories. There was also a high risk of further increase of imports resulting from trade diversion due to the measures against imports of steel adopted by the United States under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (‘Section 232’). The 28 product categories (‘the product concerned’ or the ‘product categories concerned’) are all covered by the steel surveillance mechanism introduced by the Commission in May 2016. They are also subject to the US tariff measures under Section 232.

On April 27, 2018, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice announcing the initiation of country practice reviews [Docket Numbers USTR-2018-0006, 2018-007, and 2018-008] regarding compliance with the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) eligibility criteria of India, Indonesia, and Kazakhstan. These country practice reviews are undertaken on the recommendation of the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) pursuant to 15 C.F.R. 2007.0(f) to determine whether the 3 current laws and practices of India, Indonesia, and Kazakhstan meet the GSP eligibility criteria. These reviews are the result of country eligibility petitions submitted by interested stakeholders and an assessment of the 25 Asian and Pacific Island GSP beneficiary countries conducted by the GSP Subcommittee.

On June 29, 2017, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), in conjunction with the Department of Commerce (DoC) , published in the Federal Register a request for comments [Docket No. USTR–2017–0010] that they will consider as part of the comprehensive performance reviews required by Executive Order 13796 of April 29, 2017)